Most episodes of The Muppet Show feature a routine closing sequence, while a select few were broadcast with alternate closings. While differing from the usual closing, several patterns of differences can be observed.
- 1 Completely different closings
- 2 Orchestral shot variations
- 3 Additional instrument solo
- 4 Credits rolled longer prior to closing being shown
- 5 Lacking the regular Statler and Waldorf scene
- 6 Different version of Zoot's final note
- 7 Fifth Season episodes without Lips' trumpet
- 8 Notes
- 9 Galleries
Completely different closings
- Episode 123: Kaye Ballard: Only Rowlf plays in the closing, personally conducted by Nigel.
- Episode 308: Loretta Lynn: The band plays at the train station in an extremely off-key version of the theme due to playing a time-table. The music is similar to the first season's closing music, but with a full trumpet solo.
- Episode 314: Harry Belafonte: The cast continues singing "Turn the World Around". Gonzo eventually combines the theme in his trumpet playing for a medley effect, after Statler and Waldorf's shot.
- Episode 317: Spike Milligan: The cast continues singing "It's a Small World" as a higher pitch version of the closing plays in the background. Meanwhile, Spike tries to sleep on stage.
- Episode 321: Roger Miller: Due to having Cluckitis, chicken versions of the orchestra members play during the closing.
- Episode 407: Dudley Moore: M.A.M.M.A. plays a medley of instrumental songs through the credits. (NOTE: There are possibly two versions of the closing credits to this episode, both based on versions of songs M.A.M.M.A plays during its final performance. In one version, towards the end it is playing an electric version of the real Muppet Show closing theme before it cuts to Statler and Waldorf, while another has the romantic music played during the UK Skit when it appeared behind Kermit and Miss Piggy.)
- Episode 412: Phyllis George: The cast is shown on-stage throughout the closing credits as a higher pitched version of the closing plays in the background.
- Episode 514: Mac Davis: Multiple Beakers perform in the closing.
Orchestral shot variations
Opening shot of the orchestra with all credits rolling
- Episode 101: Juliet Prowse: This was also used at the beginning of the closing credits for all episodes of the German co-production.
- Episode 102: Connie Stevens
- Episode 201: Don Knotts: in this version there is a different shot of the same scene featuring the blinking Floyd Pepper before the first shot of Animal.
- Episode 319: Elke Sommer
- Episode 401: John Denver
- Episode 409: Beverly Sills
- Episode 507: Glenda Jackson: in this version the shot of Trumpet Girl and Lips from their solos is seen at the beginning instead of a pan-out of the orchestra pit, which was probably never filmed with Lips, Trumpet Girl on the trombone, and the new Zoot puppet, although one was shown during the UK spot of "After You've Gone".
One-frame shot of the orchestra before the closing begins
Different version of the wide orchestra shot playing the final pieces
- Episode 123: Kaye Ballard
- Episode 308: Loretta Lynn
- Episode 314: Harry Belafonte
- Episode 321: Roger Miller
- Episode 407: Dudley Moore: Animal hits M.A.M.M.A, finally shutting it down.
- Episode 514: Mac Davis
- Episode 515: Carol Burnett: The camera is still focused on Carol until Zoot's shot.
Orchestra shot before the Statler/Waldorf comment is 1 second longer
Additional instrument solo
Additional instrument solo, or a regular solo (mostly Rowlf's) being replaced with a different instrument in the closing
- Episode 208: Steve Martin: Steve plays a piece of "The Muppet Show Theme" on his banjo during the beginning of the credits, before the camera cuts back to the closing footage.
- Episode 308: Loretta Lynn: Rowlf's solo is replaced by a trumpet solo performed by a chicken.
- Episode 317: Spike Milligan: The second half of Rowlf's solo is replaced by a saxophone solo by Zoot.
- Episode 412: Phyllis George: Rowlf's solo is replaced by Zoot's sax solo from the first season.
Credits rolled longer prior to closing being shown
- Episode 205: Judy Collins: the closing begins during the second half of Trumpet Girl's shot.
- Episode 217: Julie Andrews: the closing began with the new Floyd's shot
- Episode 222: Teresa Brewer: the closing begins with Animal's shot
- Episode 322: Roy Rogers & Dale Evans: the closing began with Floyd's shot
- Episode 323: Lynn Redgrave: the closing began with Rowlf's solo
- Episode 406: Linda Lavin: the closing began with Floyd's shot
- Episode 505: James Coburn: the closing skips the first shot of Animal
Lacking the regular Statler and Waldorf scene
- Episode 123: Kaye Ballard: Rowlf complains to Nigel on the theme.
- Episode 217: Julie Andrews: Gonzo dates Julie's cow.
- Episode 314: Harry Belafonte: Statler and Waldorf are shown singing along to the closing number during the middle of the credits.
- Episode 316: Danny Kaye: Statler and Waldorf are not on the balcony, returning to the boxes they were sitting on in protest of Manny Kaye.
- Episode 503: Joan Baez: Two rats take over the balcony.
- Episode 507: Glenda Jackson: Statler and Waldorf are in the crows nest of the pirate ship with the parrot
- Episode 514: Mac Davis: Two Beakers take over the balcony.
- Episode 515: Carol Burnett: Carol finally begins the "Lonely Asparagus" sketch.
Different version of Zoot's final note
- Episode 123: Kaye Ballard: The last note is a chord on the piano as Rowlf finishes the closing. Two separate final shots were used: one of Rowlf covering his mouth and Nigel bowing, another with the band still backstage while Kermit waves. The new shot with the band backstage later aired on reruns and was released on the first season DVD set. On Disney+, it has both the ATV variant of the ending and the backstage shot.
- Episode 217: Julie Andrews: The last note is a "moo."
- Episode 308: Loretta Lynn: The last note is off-key.
- Episode 314: Harry Belafonte: The last note is a higher pitch and played by one of the African puppets.
- Episode 317: Spike Milligan: The last note is a much lower pitch than usual.
- Episode 321: Roger Miller: The last note is played by Zoot as a chicken.
- Episode 407: Dudley Moore: The last note is an electronic chord from M.A.M.M.A. Animal crashes into the machine and falls to the ground as if he had been electrocuted.
- Episode 514: Mac Davis: The last note is played by a Beaker clone.
- Episode 515: Carol Burnett: After Zoot plays the last note, Carol immediately responds with "Oh, rats".
Fifth Season episodes without Lips' trumpet
- Some of the "different" shots of the orchestra were replaced by a new orchestra shot on DVD (either from seasons 1 or 3) or would cut straight to the Zoot shots (or the Jim Henson Television logo) during reruns.
- All of the "different" shots of the final note, except the one from episode 123, were replaced by a new Zoot ending (either the 1980s shot, the Sax and Violence shot, a new shot, or simply the Jim Henson logo) when shown in syndication or on DVD. Somehow some of the "different" shots don't really match with the alternate closings and often made them confusing. However, the different sounds of the final note remained the same.